NEWS

22/07/2012

Hockenheim Sprint race driver's quotes

Hockenheim Sprint race driver's quotes

Calado, van der Garde and Nasr discuss the race

GP2 Series: James, another storming win today and you made it look pretty easy, but how was it from inside the car?

James Calado: It was an awesome race, because everything from the prep before hand to the work on the grid was perfect, and then the start I made was just absolute lightning, absolutely perfect! It was what I needed, because I knew Razia is good at starts and very experienced at that kind of thing. From there on I pushed for 2 laps really hard, and of course the safety car came out, which screwed that plan a bit! [laughs] It came in shortly, and I made quite a commanding gap over the line, and held the gap to van der Garde for a few laps and decided to push on lap 6 or 7 for the fastest lap, which I did, and then backed it off to save the tyres.

From there on the car was just unbelievable, and it's all thanks to the Lotus ART guys because the tyres, even though they degraded, it was still balanced, still grippy: I'm not used to be able to push every lap at the end, but I even set my best lap with 3 to go! It's really down to these guys for the win: the car was outstanding, and it's a big confidence boost for me after all the bad luck, penalties, safety cars and everything. It's nice to be back on the top step, and I can take this confidence to Budapest and repeat it there, and hopefully get myself back in the championship.

GP2 Series: There was a sense that this was coming all weekend: you've been a bit unlucky with everything, but you've seemed to have the pace here. What is it about this circuit for you?

James: It's a track I've been to before, in British F3, so I've got some experience here, but even from the word go in free practice I was really happy with the car. I knew it could be a good weekend and qualifying was key, knowing I had 10 place penalty. Qualifying P2 was really important, and so close to pole, and the first race was difficult due to front wing damage where I lost a reasonable amount of downforce on the front left, but it was good to finish 8th, which was the plane: P8, get pole, and win the second race. I've done what I needed to do, and now I can go with a fresh head to Budapest and blitz it there! I was really strong there in GP3, where me and Bottas finished 1-2, so I've got some good experience.

GP2 Series: I was going to suggest you have form there, and the team seems to have found their way with some good results here: can you carry this form over to Budapest?

James: Of course: all we keep saying is the pace isn't an issue, for me and for Esteban as well, because he is really fast: it will be all about doing everything properly, all my procedures are done correctly as that's my job, but put all those things together and I don't see why we couldn't fight for race wins.

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GP2 Series: Giedo, P2 today and it looked like you had the legs on everyone except for the guy in front of you...

Giedo van der Garde: Yeah! [laughs] I had a good start, passed Razia quite nicely I think, had a nice battle with Nasr: how he passed me yesterday was a bit harsh, but I got him back a little bit today, so it was a nice fight with him. Then I think Calado was fast, I could follow him quite good and in the middle I was even a little bit faster, but in the closing laps he was flying: I think they have the best car, had no tyre degradation, but I have to say for us to keep that pace for the whole race, and it didn't even drop off really, was hopeful because we were struggling in the last couple of weekends, but today was really promising, and the team did a really good job.

GP2 Series: I was going to ask about you closing in the middle section: do you think that was just him having a break, the tyres, or something else?

Giedo: No, I think it's tough to say: for sure he had a better car, so we never know what he's doing, but I'm really pleased for the result and the way the car was behaving, and I'm just looking forward to going to Budapest.

GP2 Series: No repeat of the tyre issue too, which must be satisfying?

Giedo: Yeah, I'm really happy for that: I had a little issue today, but this was by far the best we've had it all season, so it is very promising.

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GP2 Series: Felipe, P3 and another podium for you: you had to work for it, but are you happy with your job today?

Felipe Nasr: Yeah, overall it was a good weekend and we scored good points in both races, and today we were able to get on the podium, which was the target. We had good battles in the first lap with Giedo, and maybe he pushed too much but he is always clean, I would say.

Definitely we didn't have the pace of the guys in front to try to win the race, but I'm pretty happy with the result. It's tough coming from the previous races, but we had a good result in Silverstone and we could be back here and strong, so what I need to say is I'm getting more experience every time I get in the car, I get more comfortable and more feedback: things are coming together more and more every time, so if we put all these details together I think it will be time for a win soon.

GP2 Series: It was a nice drive, but you didn't seem to have the ultimate pace of the other two guys: is there any reason you can put your finger on yet for that?

Felipe: I did the best I could with the car I had: that's all I had. It was a bit limited to the car, but in one point if I wanted to push more I wouldn't finish the race, so I just thought look after the tyres and try to look after the position, so that was my strategy.

GP2 Series: Budapest next weekend: what can you expect there?

Felipe: It's again a track that I know: I've been there in 2009 in Formula BMW. It's a very technical track, especially if it's hot we will expect a lot of degradation from the tyres, so it will be very tricky. This strategy will pay off there: we need to look after the tyres, but for sure I like Budapest, and we will see what we can have there.

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